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Choosing a name for the South Langford new elementary school

Online engagement to Jan 31 | Open house on Feb 15

Saturday January 21, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated January 26, 2023]

SD62 SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS | by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends


The next new elementary school in Sooke School District 62 (SD62) is set for construction in the south Langford area of the west shore. And it’s ready for a name!

SD62 has launched the engagement period to collect suggestions to help choose a name for the new school for which land is ready and waiting on Latoria Road near Klahanie Drive.

latoria, klahanie, langford
Location of upcoming elementary school in south Langford (near Colwood). [Google map]

Suggest a name by email, phone or online:

The Sooke School District SD62 can accept name suggestions by phone at 250-474-9800, or by email at info@sd62.bc.ca or interactively online.

An online platform called Thought Exchange is being used to collect ideas from participants. Name suggestions are not pre-listed by the school district. The interactive software rates the ideas from other participants anonymously but seems to front-load the participants who get there first; names that are suggested later in the participation period get less opportunity for consideration.

The online name game process opened January 17 and remains open to Tuesday January 31, 2023.

Here is the link to participate in the SD62 South Langford Elementary School Naming – Thought Exchange. Come prepared with a name. There are no pre-suggestions, which implies that people are already familiar with the region, historical names and other trends of interest to the education system (as those are the parameters in the SD62 school naming guidelines).

thought exchange, school name, sd62
For best results, come to the Thought Exchange with a name already in mind (for the new South Langford elementary school, SD62). Open Jan 17 to 31, 2023.

However, SD62 does provide some school-naming guidelines on their website.

Open house February 15:

In addition to the online engagement, the Board will host an open house at Happy Valley Elementary on February 15 to share the top name suggestions collected from the Thought Exchange.

kindergarten, sept 2023

“In recognition of its commitment to truth and reconciliation, the Board will also be engaging with the local Indigenous Nations to hear their suggestions and ideas for the naming of the new elementary school,” said SD62 in a news release this past week.

sidewalk, happy valley
Happy Valley Elementary School, on Happy Valley Rd in Langford.

“Preserving and revitalizing Indigenous languages is one of the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation report,” said Ravi Parmar, SD62 Board Chair. “Whenever we can, we must consider how we can help move the calls to action forward and that is why hearing from our local Indigenous Nations is an important part of this process,” he was quoted in the news release.

Board decision in March:

The SD62 Board has a policy and guidelines for naming new schools. Key defining parameters are that names should be either of historic names or community leaders, geographical reference, or Indigenous.

In early March a decision will be made by the trustees, following the public engagement process. The SD62 March board meeting comes up on Tuesday March 14, when they may well announce the final name.

dumont tirecraft, winter road safety

Construction preparation:

The civil contract for the construction of the new school was awarded to Draycor Construction Ltd, a local developer in the west shore.

draycor, digger, construction
Land preparation for the new south Langford elementary school is underway, January 2023.

The leveling and grading work of the school site has already begun, and construction is expected to begin later this spring. Construction completion is expected for September 2025.

Funding:

The lion’s share of cost to build and outfit the new school will be covered by the province: $39.6 million will be contributed by the Ministry of Education and Child Care, as announced by SD62 in June 2022. SD62 is contributing $1 million.

The land was purchased in 2020 with $7.7 million from the Province and a contribution of $960,000 from the school district.

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Growing population:

“The population of the South Latoria and Happy Valley neighbourhoods continue to grow and adding another elementary school will address some of our immediate capacity needs,” said SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson this week.

scott stinson, sd62
SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson at the Dec 13, 2022 board meeting. [livestream]

“Since I took on this role in 2018, we have grown by roughly 2,000 new students, and we need to continue to build new schools to account for the region’s growing population,” he said.

The new elementary school will accommodate up to 480 students. The school will also include a neighbourhood learning centre for community programming and child care.

Framework:

The SD62 Strategic Plan for 2021-2025 features Growth as one of its three main components (the other two are Learning and Engagement).

As of March 2022, the Ministry of Education was renamed as the Ministry of Education and Child Care.

The current SD62 Board is comprised of seven trustees (four from the Belmont Zone in the west shore / Langford-Colwood-Metchosin-Highlands, and three from the Milne’s Landing Zone in Sooke and Juan de Fuca area).

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===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:

mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has followed the news of School District 62 since 2014, attending nearly all SD62 board and committee meetings since 2014. | SD62 NEWS ARCHIVE

Ms Brooke has been the editor of a series of publications on the west shore since 2008: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), West Shore Voice News (2014-2020) and now Island Social Trends (online since mid-2020). | FREE ENEWS | PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTIONS

Mary Brooke was a SD62 school trustee candidate in the October 2022 election (Belmont Zone — Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Highlands).